Blaming senior drivers for blinding headlights is shortsighted: Roadshow

Q: A letter writer blamed older folks for bright headlights on cars, saying that they need these lights because of failing eyesight. That’s absurd! Seniors don’t design cars being built. And cars aren’t built specifically for people over 65.

Paul Jacobs, Saratoga

A: And….

Q: Comments blaming senior drivers for blinding headlights infuriated me! Entitled? Stop driving at night? Take Uber, have food delivered? Where does she get off thinking it is just senior drivers? Is it even possible to buy a new car these days without LED lights?

Gwynne Willison

A: You’re both correct. These LED headlights are on vehicles bought by drivers of all ages. Traffic engineers say that these headlights do make it easier for drivers using them to spot pedestrians and bicyclists.

Q: Bright LED headlights are especially a problem on SUVs and trucks approaching lower-riding vehicles. They’re equivalent to high beams in terms of blinding other drivers. In defensive driving courses, I learned to avert my eyes down and to the right, keeping aware of the oncoming vehicle in my peripheral vision. It’s not ideal, but helps.

Edna T. Pampy, Santa Clara

A: And…

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Q: My safe, easy way to avoid these headlights is to focus my eyes on the right side of my lane, keeping the road in my peripheral vision. The best lanes to use are ones with a white line on the side, which helps you stay in the lane. This really helps when driving on mountain roads at night. I think I read about this in your column years ago.

Dave McHone, Boulder Creek

A: A related idea…

Q: I’m sure a hundred people will tell you about this trick. When I see super bright headlights coming, I close my right eye and, depending on traffic, turn my head slightly to the right. You lose depth perception, but as soon as “Bright Light Guy” is no longer in front of you, your right eye is still accommodated to the darkness.

I learned this trick while waiting to enter a darkened movie theater. Once inside, you didn’t stumble around waiting for your eyes to adjust to the dark.

Don Luttrell, San Jose

A: Finally…

Q: I look toward the right. On two-lane roads, I partially look …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Entertainment


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